Many professional service companies face a paradox: Despite requiring high-touch customer relationships, they are often overextended with limited staff—making
it easy for them to overlook the many other aspects involved with running a business. Add working with multiple clients and potential projects all
on different schedules into the mix and you see how marketing for these companies can be challenging.
Amaxra is a professional services company with many pro services clients. That's why we understand why a customer relationship management (CRM) solution is a must-have for firms in our industry: It enables the growth of strong customer relationships while helping track the new leads that are so crucial for ongoing business success.
Most established firms are already using a combination of Microsoft Outlook and Excel to collect data on projects or customers. What often happens is those various emails and spreadsheets tend to become "silos" of information. Maintaining customer relationships becomes difficult when firms have much of their most valuable customer data locked away in multiple emails and spreadsheets across many different devices owned by multiple employees.
This is why a CRM solution—preferably cloud-based and accessible from any Internet-connected device—is critical for firms. Rather than languishing in disparate silos, notes about your customer's personal preferences and the date/time of your last call about the project can be instantly accessed by anybody permitted within the organization. This also enables the marketing personnel to plan outreach campaigns and effectively communicate with both existing and new/potential customers. Centrally-located customer data stored in a cloud-based system can lead to increased employee efficiency while simultaneously increasing customer satisfaction.
Once your firm has committed to implementing a Customer Relationship solution, the worst mistake you can make is to just use it for tracking typical to-do items or leads. The real value is the ability to focus on customer commitments and desired business outcomes. It takes more than buying a subscription and hooking it up to your Microsoft Outlook to see any real return on your investment. To maximize your CRM investment, do these five things:
- Identify your objectives – Increasing customer satisfaction and streamlining business processes are goals made much easier if a CRM solution is implemented properly. Knowing what problem(s) you are trying to solve or gain(s) to be achieved – before implementation - is critical
- Segment your customer behaviors – Interacting with a supplier will be different than a customer prospect. By designing a distinct experience for each segment, you can customize communications to match the customer's perspective. This is critical if you are also planning to implement a marketing automation solution for outbound communication such as emails or newsletters
- Commit to standardized success metrics –Making good decisions about how much time/effort to invest in a prospect, vendor, or customer is possible only when everyone in your firm agrees on a single set of success metrics
- Expand your horizons – Once you have a CRM solution in place, you open the door to many new capabilities for your business. Your business can benefit from how cloud-based CRM enables advanced marketing automation, analysis of results, and real time dashboards. None of this is possible when information is siloed within different data stores across your company
- Gather and analyze customer feedback – If you choose Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM, you can quickly gain valuable insights about how your customers perceive your services via their "Voice of the Customer " survey app. This powerful add-in for Dynamics 365 enables you to survey customers at different stages of the customer engagement and track their responses in the CRM for ongoing learning and process improvement.
When done well, a customer relationship management solution can enable intelligent, data-driven customer engagements that build customer relationships based on trust and loyalty. There are numerous options for cloud-based CRM solutions and it helps to partner with firms experienced in their deployment. Amaxra has a proven track record of deploying integrated Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM solutions for small-to-midsized firms and is happy to share real-world experiences of how Dynamics has helped our business grow.
Schedule a free consultation with Amaxra to learn how you can best leverage a cloud-based CRM solution to gain a competitive advantage, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact me at Rosalyn.email@example.com or call 425 749 7471 if you have any questions or comments on this blog.